By Lindsay Emery
Swahoogie isn’t a word you’ll find in the dictionary.
“It’s just an attitude of playing,” explained Thomas “Zeke” Krouskoff, vocalist and guitarist of the band Swahoogie.
It has to do with the people who are playing the music and bringing one’s own twist to a song. Krouskoff said that vocalist and guitarist Scott Kubrin would describe Swahoogie as “a way of life.”
Swahoogie is an entirely Westchester-based band. The group, which formed in the ‘90s, was on an extended hiatus because some of its members started having families. They reunited in 2015 to bring back what was missing.
Krouskoff said the nine-member ensemble has been through some hardships, but being able to play together is like being part of a family, a special opportunity that they are grateful to have in their lives.
When Swahoogie restarted four years ago, it was important for its members to love the music that they perform.
Krouskoff grew up in White Plains and has played with some of his bandmates for nearly 30 years. Everyone brings their own feel to each song and understands the way the song should be played.
“I write the songs on my guitar in my living room, bedroom or something and then we all get together and it just comes to life in such cool ways where we’ve known each other for so long that different people coming in, add their own flavor to the song,” Krouskoff said.
Recently, Swahoogie played at Garcia’s at The Capitol Theatre on June 6 with a 24-song set. The band released a three-song EP and have been featured on 107.1 The Peak with Jimmy Fink. Swahoogie was the spotlight artist twice last year, Krouskoff said.
“Right now, we’re just writing new songs,” Krouskoff said. “We’re actually going to open with a song we just finished and do some recording after, later in July.”
He said Swahoogie’s members are looking forward to their 35-minute set at the Pleasantville Music Festival, which is scheduled to start at 1:40 p.m. on the Main Stage. The band will likely play their hits such as “Scratchy Dog” and “Welcome to the Party” along with some new material.
Music lovers who know the band are also excited that they get to perform. Even though it’s tough doing original music and being local, Krouskoff expressed his thanks to the festival’s organizers for opening a spot for Swahoogie.
“For Pleasantville Music Festival to support us that way means everything to us because it gives us more credibility taking a chance on a local band,” he said.
Along with Krouskoff, the band’s members include Bruce Demaree, drums; Bill Lawrence, bass; Scott Kubrin, guitar and vocals; Tom Havard, mandolin, trumpet, vocals; Larry Gardner, keys; and Gabi Sussman, Nancy Toder and Terry Singletary, vocals.